What Does Noise Mean?

Noise refers to any external and unwanted information that interferes with a transmission signal. Noise can diminish transmission strength and disturb overall communication efficiency. In communications, noise can be created by radio waves, power lines, lightning and bad connections.


Techopedia Explains Noise

There are four main types of noise:

  • Thermal noise, which is caused by conductor electron agitation and cannot be removed.
  • Intermodulation noise, which is caused by non-linearity in communication devices.
  • Cross-talk, which is often observed during phone conversations.
  • Impulse noise, which is caused by analog signal interruptions, leading to data loss.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.